Well, it is the Halloween season, so I feel it is my sacred duty to start adding to the overall spooky atmosphere of the world. To do so I will share with you all what is perhaps the scariest true story I know. I’ve done plenty of research on this topic and you can take my word that every fact in here checks out.
Skeleton attacks were a common occurrence in ancient times. From the dawn of man in Babylonia to the dawn of commerce in Arabia to the twilight of the Roman Empire there were always stories of skeletons taking up arms and attacking the living. While the uneducated might assume these are mere folklore (also known as “fakelore”, or in German, Volkslore), but I assure you they are not. Skeleton attacks really happened.
And though they happen far more infrequently these days, there are still times that the bones of the once-living will rise to attack the currently-living. Proof of this became all too real for one small town in 1987. This is that town’s story.
As dark and stormy nights go, this one was a doozy. Especially the darkness. The storm was actual about average. But the dark was full-on-hardcore dark. It was about two hours after sunset that the town’s mayor happened to look out his window. He lived in a nice mansion at the top of a hill, so he could see most of the small town from there. Usually that was a nice thing. This night, however, it confused him. It was very dark (and decently stormy) so he couldn’t really make out much, but it appeared there was a fire down on main street. He decided to go take a look. If anyone asked, he would say it was his duty as mayor to be on the scene in an emergency, but in reality he just wanted to see if his idiot cousin’s restaurant would burn down. He really, really hoped it would.
And so the mayor got himself dressed up in his nice new raincoat and hat and wandered down toward main street. On the way, however, he was stopped by what appeared to be the sound of gunshots. What if this wasn’t just a fire, he thought. What if this was some sort of mob war raging in his own sleepy burg. He decided he would sell the movie rights to some crime-movie writer and let them film here in town. That would be sweet. But he couldn’t do that if he himself was shot up in the mob war. And so he started to head back home and wait for it all to wind down. He wouldn’t make it home that night.
A hand grabbed him! A white, fleshless hand! Fortunately his raincoat was hard for a being with no muscles to grab onto, so the mayor was able to free himself, but when he turned and saw in the light of the fire what his attacker was (Oh yeah, it was a skeleton, by the way), he was awed. In a bad way. He says he didn’t wet himself, but I think he did.
At this point, the mayor ran. All through town he noticed skeletons smashing things and attacking people. It was chaos. Pure naked chaos. The terror was as bare as the bones of those who were its cause (because they lack flesh). A horde some hundreds strong has risen from the grave to attack Moyensville.
When you examine the various types of non-fictional undead creatures you’ll find that skeletons have more in common with zombies than with, say vampires. Like zombies, skeletons are more effective when they attack in a horde than on their own. And they aren’t very bright either. There are numerous ways that skeletons are different from zombies, though. Skeletons have a thing for using medieval weaponry like swords and maces. Even whips. Skeletons with whips are cool. Skeletons can’t take quite as much punishment as a zombie, but they lack the “Achilles Brain” of their fleshier cousin that would allow for humans to put them down for good. Also, instead of lurching slowly around, skeletons can move at least as fast as a living human, sometimes faster. And pretty much always faster than huge fat people. Plus, when skeletons move it’s all jerky looking, as though it were stop-motion or something. But they’re real.
Now, as I’m sure you all know, skeleton attacks don’t just happen randomly. As history has proven there is always a Skeleton Master behind the attack imposing his will on the otherwise lethargic bone soldiers.
In the case of Moyensville the Skeleton Master was “Muddy” Hunts, a trucker who had been in Moyensville a year earlier and felt that it was a town deserving of a skeleton attack. Accounts differ on why Muddy felt that way (the most common theory is that he had been treated poorly by an elderly waitress in the town’s diner), but all agree that he was a level twelve necromancer.
At dusk that day Muddy had perched himself on the town’s clocktower and begun the orchestration of his skeleton attack. By the time the mayor knew what was going on, Muddy was already starting to lose interest.
The town’s sheriff, John Wexley, had not hesitated to open fire as soon as he heard reports of the skeleton rampage. Unfortunately, in this way he wasted a large portion of his ammunition while still in his office and didn’t have quite enough when he got outside and actually saw some skeletons. It didn’t matter much, however. Jehn Wexley was a badass sheriff who would not let his town fall prey to the undead. Armed only with two clips of pistol ammo, a hunting knife, several days growth of stubble and an Eighties attitude Wexley fought his way to the center of town.
Wexley knew a thing or two about skeletons, since he grew up in Florida, which is skeleton country (a leftover from all the former nearby pirates and Conquistadors), so he knew there were only three ways to stop a skeleton invasion. The first was infeasible for him, he could not crush and grind all these invaders into dust. The second was useless because he had not memorized any of the Bible. And so, he knew he needed to find the Skeleton Master.
So Wexley fought his way to the clocktower (simple battle tactics told him that the Skeleton Master would want a good vantage point). It was then that he saw the mayor running. He decided to help the mayor. While he was doing that Muddy Hunts decided to get in his truck and go home. The skeletons fell re-dead to the ground and all was well forever, except that everyone now knew: Skeletons could get you! Beware!
Patrick D Ryall, the D is for Heathen
Originally posted on Contains2 Thursday 20 October 2005